home island bye bye

Leena Joshi

January 11, 2017

My fondness for aging (the deeper, softer, squelches of my own hand reaching inside my thoughts to withdraw the good stuff) is sharpened by how growing up means now understanding sadness. It’s time for an art show; my heart is broken and I’m at my most depressed. By the time I’ve rinsed the sleep off of me and pulled my aching body out of bed it’s night already. I’m still fixated on an egg, a palm leaf, my hands, an avocado seed. The pads of my fingertips stretch out looking for the texture that feels most like comfort, the fraying line of a silk piece. I had a hold on place once but I’m losing that grip. My parents were the first to show it: Rani right now you lack a place. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, you aren’t the first. The way ahead is long and far, yet I will search far and wide. Perhaps to move on forever is the trick.

As a child I thought my nation was my state of being. I drew on sidewalks welded with government wealth. the grass was always greenest. I visited the country where my parents came from and there I saw lack, and mass far beyond me. upon each return I examine the mass of my birth and the birth of the country I live in, watching it carve a very long dark tunnel. someone else is responsible for its state of ripeness. from there I felt my own somewhere complicate, but I was not yet fully stretched. where was my origination? people always ask. you must tell others where your allegiances lie, to whom you are an ally, and that implies the fact that you know yourself. at some time when in between on a plane over the atlantic I got stuck. my skin stretched over the whole earth, thin with distrust.

IMAGE: Test site for liminality, digital composite, 2016



Read Minh Nguyen’s essay about this body of work here

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